The High Cost of Being Right

Do me a favour: The next time you hand in your yearly budget, add a line item expense for “Being Right”.  Now add another for “Teaching Business Ethics”.  Go ahead and plug in a big fat number with a lot of zeros in both. Let me know how that flies with the Board. While most […]

Go Ahead — Make the First Salary Offer

How many times have you been in a job interview and come across the question about salary expectations? Common wisdom tells us to not make the first offer, which is great on paper, but tends to lead to an impasse.  The hiring manager (or board, or President) doesn’t want to move first, in case you […]

Dealing With Fear in a High Stakes Negotiation

There’s a lot to be afraid of these days.  Pundits will tell you the economy has been through worse times, and they’re right.  But never before has the economy changed so much, so fundamentally, in so little time.  Industrial revolution?  A snail’s pace compared to what’s happening with the internet today.  So when things go […]

Why you’ll never win an argument…

…and how you can get what you want anyway. I love a good argument.  More, I love a good Latin-American argument.  The back and forth, the incremental hyperbole, the wild gesticulations.  It’s fun, and if you’re paying attention you may actually learn something you didn’t already know. The problem is, arguing for fun and arguing […]

Negotiate, and Navigate, From Where You Are

One of the classic negotiating mistakes is failing to account for changing circumstances. By default, when trying to work out way through a negotiation, especially a conflict, we want to go back to where we were ‘before we got into this mess’ (status quo ante bellum, for those of us who like to use the […]

On Recruiting: Skills v Attributes

Which is easier: learning a skill or learning a behavior? Anyone with kids can tell you how difficult is it to teach someone to be diligent, honest, friendly, attentive to detail, ambitious, or any of a host of traits we hope to instill. Ever notice how some people seem to always be positive and willing […]

Untangling Complex Business Disputes

It’s often the case that when two people or organizations try to resolve a dispute by determining who is right, they get stuck. That’s why so many disputes end up in court. There is a better way to resolve your dispute: by hiring an expert mediator who focuses not on rights but on interests—the needs, […]

A New Approach to Complex Negotiations…

We generally think of mediation as a dispute-resolution device. Federal mediators intervene when collective bargaining bogs down. Diplomats are sometimes called in to mediate conflicts between nations. So-called multidoor courthouses encourage litigants to mediate before incurring the costs—and risks—of going to trial. Scott R. Peppet, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Law […]

Conflict Management — An Organizational Challenge

I was asked to write an article on Conflict Resolution within organizations for the American Chamber of Commerce’s magazine here in the Dominican Republic.  Here’s the link, I’m on page 15. A few caveats and observations: The article is in Spanish.  If that makes it somewhat difficult to read, bear with me:  it was difficult […]

Getting Past Yes, Revisited — 7 tips

In a previous post I spoke about negotiating past the agreement at hand. As promised, here are some things to consider: Does my counterpart’s opinion of myself or the deal matter to me? Unless you are buying a knickknack souvenir on vacation (in which case, feel free to skip this post altogether and enjoy your […]